related topics
{law, state, case}
{system, computer, user}
{company, market, business}
{work, book, publish}
{album, band, music}
{math, number, function}
{land, century, early}
{film, series, show}
{school, student, university}

Kazaa Media Desktop (once stylized as "KaZaA", but now usually written "Kazaa") started as a peer-to-peer file sharing application using the FastTrack protocol licensed by Joltid Ltd. and operated as Kazaa by Sharman Networks. Kazaa is now running under license as a music subscription service by Brilliant Digital Entertainment, Inc.

Kazaa Media Desktop was commonly used to exchange MP3 music files and other file types, such as videos, applications, and documents over the internet. The Kazaa Media Desktop client could be downloaded free of charge; however, it was bundled with adware and for a period there were "No spyware" warnings found on Kazaa's website. During the past few years, Sharman Networks and its business partners and associates were the target of copyright-related lawsuits, related to the copyright of content distributed via Kazaa Media Desktop on the FastTrack protocol.



Kazaa and FastTrack were originally created and developed by Estonian programmers from BlueMoon Interactive[1] (who were later to create Skype and later still Joost and Rdio). After selling it to the Swedish Niklas Zennström, and the Danish Janus Friis, Kazaa was introduced by the Dutch company Consumer Empowerment in March 2001, near the end of the first generation of P2P networks typified by the shutdown of Napster in July 2001.

Initially, some users of Kazaa were users of the Morpheus program, formerly an application made available by MusicCity, but once the official Kazaa client became more widespread, its developers used their ability to automatically update it, changing the protocol, in February 2002, to shut out Morpheus clients when its developers failed to pay license fees. Morpheus later became a client of the gnutella network.

Consumer Empowerment was sued in the Netherlands in 2001 by the Dutch music publishing body, Buma/Stemra. The court ordered Kazaa's owners to take steps to prevent its users from violating copyrights or else pay a heavy fine. In October 2001 a lawsuit was filed against Consumer Empowerment by members of the music and motion picture industry in the USA. In response Consumer Empowerment sold the Kazaa application to Sharman Networks, headquartered in Australia and incorporated in Vanuatu. In late March 2002, a Dutch court of appeal reversed an earlier judgment and stated that Kazaa was not responsible for the actions of its users. Buma/Stemra lost its appeal before the Dutch Supreme Court in December 2003.

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